Quad Foreign Ministers discuss UN Security Council reforms and Indo-Pacific security

The Quad Foreign Ministers Antony Blinken, Penny Wong, S. Jaishankar, and Kamikawa Yoko during the Quad meeting in New York on September 22, 2023. PHOTO: Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations

New York: On the margins of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Quad Foreign Ministers from the United States, India, Japan, and Australia met on September 22, 2023, and discussed several important issues while reiterating their steadfast commitment to the United Nations Charter, enduring significance of upholding collectively established standards, and to enhance the Quad collaboration within the global framework.

The meeting was attended by US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Kamikawa Yoko, and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of Australia, Senator Penny Wong.

Consistent with the statement delivered by US President Joe Biden at the general debate of the UNGA on September 19 about UN Security Council reforms, a joint statement of the Quad Foreign Ministers Meeting stressed, “We are committed to advancing a comprehensive UN reform agenda, including through expansion in permanent and non-permanent seats of the UN Security Council. In this regard, we call for a UN Security Council that is more representative, transparent, effective, and credible.”

Notably, the G4 nations, in which India, Japan, Brazil and Germany are members, met on September 19, in New York, and urged the United Nations to consider reforms at the UN Security Council. The Ministers “underscored that multilateralism is under significant strain due to multiple and complex crises… concurred that the UN Security Council’s inability to effectively and timely address contemporary global challenges…” while reiterating “the expansion of the UN Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories” is vital.

On their discussions about the Indo-Pacific region, the Quad Leaders statement further said, the leaders reaffirmed their unwavering dedication to an Indo-Pacific region that remains open and free, embracing inclusivity and resilience. They pledged once again to promote the vision articulated by Quad leaders in Hiroshima on May 20, 2023, a region characterized by peace and prosperity, stability and security, devoid of threats, and where conflicts find resolution through adherence to international law.

“The Quad’s multilateral cooperation will deliver concrete outcomes for the benefit of all people throughout the Indo-Pacific,” the statement added. “We strongly support the principles of freedom, the rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and peaceful settlement of disputes; and oppose unilateral attempts to change the status quo. We seek to maintain and strengthen stability in the Indo-Pacific, where competition is managed responsibly.”

The leaders also emphasized their dedication to the UN Charter and urged all nations to adhere to its goals and principles, which include abstaining from any actions that could threaten or employ force against the sovereignty or political freedom of any nation. They emphasized their resolve to uphold international law as the cornerstone for maintaining stability and ensuring fair treatment for all member states.

In that context, about the Russia-Ukraine war, they noted, “We express our deep concern over the war raging in Ukraine and mourn its terrible and tragic humanitarian consequences. We underscore the need for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law, consistent with the principles of the UN Charter.”

On Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they underscored their unwavering commitment to the executing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the attainment of all SDGs. According to the statement, their dedication is rooted in the principle that no one should be excluded from this transformative journey. They further emphasized that SDGs are interlinked, inseparable, and designed to harmonize the three fundamental facets of sustainable development that are economic, social, and environmental.

During their meeting, the leaders also discussed other matters such as the Quad Infrastructure Fellowships Program and the Quad Partnership for Cable Connectivity and Resilience; the Quad Maritime Security Working Group; the Quad Counterterrorism Working Group’s Consequence Management Exercise; political, humanitarian, and economic crisis in Myanmar; and condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launches.

The next Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will be held in-person in Japan in 2024.



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